An article on the AltoonaMirror.com reported that Grane Healthcare of Pittsburgh is aiming to close the sale of Laurel Crest Rehabilitation & Special Care Center in Ebensburg by Dec. 31.
Grane, which currently owns 11 nursing homes in central and western Pennsylvania, is purchasing the home from Cambria County for $14.2 million. Several years of continued losses, staff layoffs, and other cost cuts forced the county to sell Laurel Crest late this spring.
In recent years, state inspections revealed dozens of deficiencies at Laurel Crest that resulted in serious fines and penalties. Grane, whose nursing homes have faired well in recent Department of Health inspections, plans to look closely at Laurel Crest to see what improvements can be made to the facility. In the article, Grane company spokesman Mark Fox said, “Laurel Crest itself is in good condition overall but we’re looking at the facility carefully.”
Grane’s other nursing homes include the Altoona Center, which was visited by inspectors six times in 2008 and five times in September, resulting in a few “no actual harm” deficiencies. LaurelWood in Johnstown, another Grane facility, which was inspected six times in 2009 and 11 times in 2008, received similar results.
State and federal reimbursement rate changes, rising operating costs, and other changes are just some of the reasons county-run homes may switch to private owners like Grane. Grane President Ross Nese added, “I think there’s going to be a lot of this in the coming years. Governments got into this for all the right reasons, but this is a business now, and there are other alternatives to operating a home.”